February Crafternoon






Yesterday was February’s Crafternoon, you might have noticed that I skipped having one in January. It was nice to take a month off after the holidays to unwind and not think about parties.
We made little dolls out of beads, and munched on a variety of scones. I wish I had taken photos of everything everyone made, but when I am in the middle of it all I often forget to grab my camera.
They were so much fun though and I’ll post a DIY tomorrow with the people I made (I went a little nuts and made 8 of them)
For a snack I made three kinds of scones… cheddar chive scones, these were great-so moist and fluffy, I think would make excellent biscuits. Chocolate walnut espresso scones, those were just “ok” a bit too dry and not memorable enough to ever make again. But the real star and the one that everyone seemed to rave about were gluten-free white chocolate lemon almond scones. I loosely followed this recipe here but for the “gluten free flour blend” I used 2 cups of gluten free bisquick, used the zest of a whole lemon, left out the cranberries and mixed the white chips into the dough instead of melting them on top, and tossed in about 1/2 cup of almond slices. They were slightly prone to fall apart while still hot, but as they cooled they held their shape really well. We only have 3 gals who follow a GF diet, but everyone seemed to like these. Some people liked them topped with lime curd & whipped cream, but they were really good plain too. I’d make them again for sure!

Cream Cheese Red Velvet Muffins

red velvet muffins
red velvet muffins

Cream Cheese Red Velvet Muffins
muffins:
-1 cup of all purpose flour
-2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup butter melted
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-1 large egg
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 teaspoon gel red food coloring

cream cheese mixture:
-1 8oz package of plain cream cheese
-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
-1 large egg
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat over to 350F and line twelve muffing tins with paper liners.

1. Sift first 4 dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Beat butter, sugar, and egg until well blended.
3. Add sour cream, vanilla, and red food coloring and blend until the mixture is a even red.
4. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until smooth.
5. Divide batter between all 12 muffin tins and set aside.
6. With hand mixer/stand up mixer beat all ingredients for cream cheese mixture until smooth.
7. Spoon over top of each muffin. The red batter will all be covered.
8. Bake for about 20 minutes, then let cool on wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins

red velvet muffins

Chicago-1

A little earlier this month Thomas and I headed up to Chicago for a few days, just the two of us. Our friends were having a grand opening party for Great Lakes Tattoo, and Tom was going to guest spot for a few days. I have some great photos from the shop-so more on that later once I sort through my photos.
It’s Chicago so of course we ate like kings! Our first lunch after landing was Native Foods Cafe. Everything was really good, and this is the first time I’ve seen boxed water, but I loved its proclamation.

We had to go check out Rotofugi because last time I was there they were still in the smaller location. We bought a bunch of goodies and then we were really excited to get to try out the Roto-a-Matic (one of those amazing plastic molding machines from the 60′s but with Tim Biskup’s Helper Dragon mold. So much fun!!
I maybe had one or two honey bear lattes during my stay in the Windy City. One of them at The Wormhole Coffee, a place I felt like our 17 year old son Kurtis would of really loved. They have a Back To The Future vibe with a DeLorean, old nintendo games, and old posters on the walls. I regret not trying the peanut butter paratroopa latte.
We had dinner one night at The Chicago Diner (the newer Logan Square location) since we’ve been to the other one before. Of course everything was delicious, and as you can probably tell Tom has a habit of ordering vegan wings from every single restaurant that offers them. It’s been a good few years since I’ve been in Chicago and it was wonderful to be back. I’ve got plenty more photos to share, but i’ll spread them out a bit so as not to bore anyone ;)

Almond Joy Popcorn

One of our favorite snacks is air popped popcorn. We found an air popper a few years ago at the thrift shop, and not only is it still fun to watch, but it’s much better for you then microwaved prepackaged popcorn.

Some times to spice things up we will add stuff in, this almond-joy popcorn is my new go to, and just lightly coats the popcorn giving it a sweet chocolate/coconut taste. You can up the amount of toppings for a much more coated snack.

Almond Joy Popcorn
-5-6 cups of air popped popcorn
-1/4 cup of silvered almonds
-1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1 tablespoon coconut sugar
-1/2 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder

1. In microwave safe bowl melt coconut oil, then mix in sugar and cocoa powder.
2. Once those are all mixed add in coconut flakes and almonds.
3. In a large plastic container with lid add popcorn and toppings, seal lid and shake vigorously.
enjoy!

dinner

Sometimes I love preparing dinner, and some nights all I think is “seriously? I have to do this again?” Since my husband works evenings-dinner falls on my shoulders.
Starting two weeks ago I’ve have been taking time out each Sunday to make a weekly menu. Then I go through what we have have, and make my shopping list according to the menu.
One of my boys is super picky, so the menu idea has helped give him a heads up on what to expect. For me knowing that I have everything I need to make the meal that is already planned makes it much less of a chore on the days that I don’t feel like cooking. It’s easy to switch around days in the case that instead of craving that casserole you have your heart set on the salad planned for a few days later.
I’ve been trying to remember to post our dinners over on instagram. I actually look back through when I am in a dinner rut to help plan out some ideas.
The first dinner above on the left was something my friend Molly makes, shredded BBQ on baked potatoes. This BBQ was a prepackaged meat substitute which made it super easy. I did make the baked mac n cheeses, and homemade biscuits this night, so it wasn’t work free. But this was a Thursday which means Tom has off and those dinners are always extra special.
I also made ahead a stone fruit slaw which no body liked, and I just thought was “ok”.
The second dinner pictured is just a big chopped salad shaken with dressing and some shredded cheese, and then topped with fake chicken. Super fast!